BANGOR, Maine — Congregation Beth Israel, 144 York St., will mark Purim with the reading of the Megillah, followed by the Purim Deli Dinner and Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The celebration will feature the “Greater Bangor Latke Hamentashen Debate” comparing traditional Jewish delicacies, karaoke and an auction.

Purim commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot to annihilate them. The story is recorded in the Book of Esther, who foiled the plot. Esther was made queen by King Ahasuerus, and the king allowed the Jews to destroy their enemies.

The holiday has been called one of the zaniest Jewish holidays, and compared to Mardi Gras because of its festive atmosphere.

During religious services, the Book of Esther is read. Jews also boo and hiss, blow horns and swing noisemakers whenever Haman’s name is read. It is one of the few times when Jews must make noise and be festive in the synagogue.

For information, call 945-3433.